Let’s ditch the “Irish Car Bomb”

So… uh… happy St. Patrick’s Day. I’m pretty ambivalent about this festival. On the one hand, I’m all for celebrations of random cultures, especially when it’s a huge celebration in a place that a few generations ago treated people from that same culture like shit.

In an antique shop window

I can smile about it now but at the time it was terrible

Photo by Pirate Alice.

On the other, it’s pretty sad how much of that celebration is just an excuse to drink to excess, how much it’s just free marketing for the Guinness company, and how little exploration of anything else in Irish culture seems to happen in conjunction. And then there’s the Irish fucking Car Bomb.

The drink itself is disgusting. It’s also a sign of a rather nasty drinking culture. What offends me most, though, is the name. Apparently it’s considered funny round here, or just not considered at all, but where I grew up “Irish Car Bomb” meant people being murdered by terrorists. I don’t understand why Irish Americans seem not to be offended en masse by this—would you want your culture repeatedly associated with terrorism?—but I certainly find it in dreadful taste.

The aftermath of an Irish Car Bomb in Bishopsgate, London, 1993

The aftermath of an Irish Car Bomb.

You might feel like this tomorrow, but Bishopsgate took a bit more than a fry-up and some rest to put back together.

Photo from Wikipedia

Can you imagine Americans’ reaction if pubs all over Britain served a flaming arak cocktail called the “Arab Suicide Flight” or the “Twin Towers”?

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